The Golden Carrot Newsletter's Archive
Plea for Stable Horses
March 25 2007
Please take a look at the website, and click on the link halfway down the first page for the 11 riding stable horses looking for homes and help.
Do any of you have good memories of a ride on a riding stable horse? These horses work for years, in some cases for decades, earning their keep by giving rides to all comers. They carry inexperienced riders miles after miles after miles, midnight rides that involve 3 hours up into the hills, an hour tied while the rider eat, and another 3 hours home, when they would normally be sleeping; carrying unbalanced inexperienced riders who pull on their faces both to stop them, and to keep their own seat in the saddle, and kick the horses’ sides to ‘make them go’, often times both contradictory cues at once. They don’t buck, they don’t run away, they don’t rear, they just endure one endless uncomfortable mile after another. They get two meals a day for this. No pain medications; no thick bed of shavings to sleep on, no treats, loves, hugs, grooming or appreciation and very little time off. And they endure. Joints become aching and swollen; tendons tremble with weakness and exhaustion, and their bellies grumble and throats close with dryness, as they wait for their few hours off to eat, drink and sleep. Many spend hours in the hot sun, tied, with a huge western saddle on their back, waiting for the next riders unable to move into the shade, lay down, scratch each other or get a drink. This is a very tough life. Physically difficult, and mentally boring, and largely unappreciated. When the horses reach an age and level of infirmity that they can no longer perform this difficult miserable job, their reward is a trailer ride to auction. And more often than not, due to the damage caused by this job, their only buyer is the meat man, who loads them on another trailer for that dreadful final ride to the slaughter house.
Many may think, well, they’re old and damaged, right, so maybe dying is the best option. Well, when the day dawns that we put down people in the same situation, I’ll be more willing to accept that. Because these guys are people too. Unlike many people, they’ve done a difficult job for years without complaining, and all they ask is a chance to do a little less, for a few more comfortable years. Many young kids would safely get a good start on a horse like this; many people would enjoy a couple hours of riding each week on a horse they could otherwise pet and groom and baby a bit; these are great beginner horses, if someone will take their age and disabilities into account, because they’ve been there and done that, and are so bombproof they can be used as therapy horses as well; and there are countless situations where a high strung young horse competing at a high level could benefit from an older friend to be their companion, or a backyard horse who provides more in the way of "usefulness" to their owner would be happier on the off work days if they had a buddy. And a couple of meals, and less work, and a little freedom, are all they ask. In these many ways, and others, these horses are still useful. And even the quality of their life can actually be better, as their old arthritic joints could be much better with some proper nutritional support and occasional pain meds that they don’t get as riding stable horses. My experience with older horses is that, well taken care of, they are often useful right up to the time of their deaths.
I’ve posted 11 such horses on my website - all looking for homes. We need homes; and we need money to purchase them, as the stable that owns them has new horses coming in. They will send these poor darlings, who have earned them so much money over the decades, off to auction, where they can be sure of earning at least meat value. (Most places ask $50 per hour for a horseback ride; if a horse worked only one ride a day, 5 days a week, they earn $1,000 per month - and I could support half of TGCs horses each month for that - and it’s my understanding they work a lot more than that) It would seem to me that they would accept less in order to avoid the cost of shipping and such, not to mention the good publicity they could get by letting the horses go to good homes rather than slaughter, but apparently the owner is demanding as much as $1000 per horse. We are hoping that he will reduce those prices as the time approaches when the horses have to go (in the next few weeks). One woman who boards at the facility is trying to buy one or more; and we have found possible homes for almost 5 of them, but we need help purchasing them. If we can purchase them all, we have a few options for foster homes too - temporary, until we can place them.
So, if you can take a horse; if you can help to support a horse; or if you can help to purchase a horse, please contact me. If you send money, let me know that it’s for this specific purpose (otherwise, I might use it for TGC horses!). We have an offer of transport within approximately 100 miles from Nicole Ardis, sponsor for Anna and Tango, so that’s one problem solved. If you want more information on the horses, contact either me or Helen Melville (who boards at the same stable and knows these horses personally) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Helping horses is always good - you know how I am about that. But these equine people in particular have more than paid their dues. They have busted butt for years for the human people in this world - it’s time we stepped up for them. Can you help?
Helping horses is always good - you know how I am about that. But these equine people in particular have more than paid their dues. They have busted butt for years for the human people in this world - it’s time we stepped up for them. Can you help?